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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  April 3, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EDT

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world, affect the nation and touch your life. >> it's like a brawl here in the waters around monterey. >> only on al jazeera america. >> welcome back to aljazeera america, i'm stephanie sy in nen new york and we're standing by for a live press conference expected out of the hospital where yesterday's victims of the fort hood shooting are being treated. i want to bring you some of the latest details of this investigation and we go to brandon from texas, and we did get some information this morning on the suspected shooter. >> yes, we did, more is being detailed. what we have learned is he was not in combat when he was dermoid to iraq.
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he was deployed to iraq for sometime. but he was not in any combat, and that's what we learned new today. >> okay, we have learned that a congressman has been named as the shooter. a congressman, 34 years old. and what you're referring to, the secretary of the army has implied that this suspect did not incur a traumatic brain injury, as is being suspected. we talked about ptsd being a possibility here. >> we have learned that he was being treated for depression and anxiety. and he's in the process of being diagnosed with ptsd and that takes a good amount of time. but he was being treated for depression and anxiety. >> i know this we're standing by
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for a press conference from the scott and white memorial hospital and that's where the victims of this shooting are. >> what do we know so far? >> we have been told that the victims with the serious injuries, you have three currently in critical condition, and you have six right now in serious condition, but they figure to be upgraded to fair condition sometime today. so that's -- all things considered in this situation, at least a small bit of good news. >> and hopefully we'll get an update on the medical condition, and presumably we will as the press conference gets underway. let's bring in randall pinkston and aljazeera, and you've been covering the developments from that angle. and what was significant about what the secretary of the army, mchugh, had to say this morning? >> well, with a great amount of speed, they have done a thorough
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background check on the suspected shooter, who has been identified as ivan lopez, and without giving his name, secretary mccuen listed in interstate in the infantry, and when he reenlisted, he was a truck driver, and he had two deployments, serving in the army. and at one point, he was serving for a year, and at some point he served for 18 months in iraq where he was a truck driver. and brandon has referenced what secretary mchugh referenced, that he was not involved in any kind of combat situation, which is to say shooting. you could argue that going into iraq was automatically a combat situation, but respect to a firefight or being near an ied or explosion, apparently none of
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that happened. and secretary mchugh said that the record did not indicate any type of situation that would result in a traumatic brain injury. still, he was receiving medical care, screening for psychological problems, and ambien. >> he was undergoing a variety of treatment and diagnoses for depression and anxiety. and he was prescribed a number of drugs to address those, including ambien. he was seen just last month by a psychiatrist. he was fully examined. as of this morning, we had no indication on the record of that examination that there was any sign of likely violence, either to himself or others, and no
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suicidal ideation. >> of course as they continue to investigate what may have motivated this action by this shooter, they will be talking to his friend and relatives, and they have already interviewed his wife last night, which must be a point of deep distress and sorrow for her. her husband allegedly involved in murder and hurting of others, and killing himself. and she has to answer to whatever it is that she may have observed in the final moments of his life. >> we should say that we're talking about a suspected shooter that has been named by a congressman as 34-year-old ivan lopez, but th army has not officially confirmed that. as you said, we're standing by right now to see a live press conference and it looks like that is starting to get underway. this is where the 16 victims that were shot, and injured,
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were brought to, and so we're hoping to hear an update on their medical condition. among the speakers there, an intern, steven sivet. and let's listen in. >> i want to thank you for join us today. and please join me in extending our thoughts and our prayers to our victim, to the families, and to all of our men and women in the armed services, and to our community at large. fort hood is very much part of our family here. our thoughts and prayers go out to them. what we're focusing on today is ongoing patient care, and you'll be hearing from dr. davis, the medical director of trauma services about specifics, and we're also focusing on help for families. dr. alex thompson is to my right. and he can answer questions to that. the final thing i want to say
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is, i want to extend a very sincere thank you for what they did last night and what they're doing today. dr. davis. >> thanks, steve. i want to echo some of those comments before i address the patient status. specific attention needs to be given to darnel hospital. they did an exceptional job. and they did an exceptional job. i would like to thank my colleagues in trauma who worked tirelessly throughout the night, along with my colleagues in the emergency department, nursing and icu, et cetera, it was a well-played team effort. in terms of the patients, this morning we have nine patients here at scott and white. and three of them are in critical condition, two in fair condition, and the remainder in good condition.
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some may be discharged today. some have minor injuries and will not require further hospitalization or procedures at this time. the ones awake and talking are in good spirits, and i talked to them this morning, and to the families who made it to the bedside. we haven't been able to contact all family members for each of the patients who are here. and so that has been a good thing to accomplish this morning. again, they're in good spirits. and we have had some good discussions this morning. at this point, that's kind of what i have prepared. and i'm happy to answer any questions that you guys may have. >> can you describe the injuries that you're looking at now with the patients? >> specifically, our critical patients have injuries to the neck. we have potential spine injuries, and we have an abdominal injury. those are the three patients that i would still consider in critical condition. >> reporter:
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[ unintelligible ]. >> there are two patients that will require further surgeon. the third is undergoing diagnostic testing, and the other two will require operations, one today and probably one tomorrow. the one patient has an abdominal injury, and we need to make sure that bleeding is controlled. and basically make sure that everything is physiologic, and ready to put back together. the neck injury, we'll need further explosion, and exploration by a specialist looking at the injuries in the neck there. >> reporter: [ unintelligible ]. >> my understanding is they're
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all military, again, eight males and one female. >> i think they're as young as 21 and up to their 40s. but a varying degree of military service there. >> reporter: [ unintelligible ]. >> i believe low 20s to mid 40s. i don't want to give you a specific number, but that's what i understand. >> reporter: [ unintelligible ]. >> that's not clear right now. i don't want to put a percentage on that. but we have been evaluating that injury, with radiological techniques, and a team by the bedside to evaluate that. but i don't feel i can prognosticate on that. >> reporter: [ unintelligible ] >> so there were several that were superficial, grazing type injuries that glanced off of body cavities, and maybe through the muscle of an arm.
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and we mentioned that we had shrapnel injuries, that caused minor facial injuries, and those are kind of examples of patients that may be released later today. >> reporter: [ unintelligible ]. >> they return currently still there, yes >> reporter: you said by now, you've not reached all of the family members. did some of them have difficulty getting ahold of their family members, who thought they were victims of the case,. >> the ones that i talked to had been specifically contacted by the army and one of the challenges was identifying people when they got here. because they didn't have i.d.s on them anymore. and they were evaluated at the army hospital. some of them preliminarily, and
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they get assigned trauma numbers, so when they get here, it was coordinating and identifying the folks when we got them. >> it's important to understand that our first and foremost duty is to protect the rights of our patients, so when individuals call in and represent as family members, we have to verify that that is indeed a family member before we put them in touch with the patient and that does take some time. again, in the media event, our first and foremost priority is to make sure that the best medical care is getting to our patients, and we respect the family's needs, and we do our very best to get that information to them as soon as we can. >> reporter: have any of the relatives wanted to speak to the press? >> at this time, and based on our experience from 2009, in these circumstances again, the
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first and foremost priority is meeting with the emotional needs of our patients, and we will introduce the concept of speaking with the media. it is only with their permission that we serve as the intermediate area through our public relations office to connect with the media. but again, this is an emotionally and physically traumatic event and that's what the patients need to heal from. that's the first priority. but yes, we understand the need that many of them may wish to speak out but we'll organize that.
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>> the patients that we're caring for right now, these patients are critically ill. and it takes time. i haven't visited with many of these servicemen. many have come back and have had combat experience. so as you imagine, they're in a safe place, and they have had this kind of violence brought about at their home. so the likelihood that somebody would have a difficult emotional response to that is high. so our job, as they get well, to provide servants so they can get attention that they need emotionally early on. so we work closely with a surgical team, so when somebody wants to talk about it. but that's a critical issue that we have to address and address early. but only when somebody is well enough and physically comfortable enough to do that.
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>> reporter: [ unintelligible ]. >> i can speak to nothing about the treatment or mental state of the person who did this. >> what about spine injuries? is paralysis a possibility? >> certainly, any time that the spine is involved in this trauma, there's a possibility. and i am not prepared it see what type of paralysis or the degree at this point. number logic injuries generally take time to sort out anyway, so that will be something that we'll see more in the coming days. >> the spin injury is the result of a gunshot wound or something else? can you tell us the result of that? >> it was the result of a gunshot wound. >> it sounds like like all of
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the patients are out of the woods? >> we don't expect any more fatalities at this point. in the time to come, this is just the beginning of the process really. the trauma is continuing care, and it starts in the field with the medics, and it continues to the or and the icu and rehab. so there's a tremendous amount of work to be done. i would say that life threatening events, but we have time to go before we declare them completely out of the woods. >> they hear about it, just talk about the response. >> for me personally, this was
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relayed to me initially by a text message with friend, and then i began to rapidly receive information from the hospital and the surrounding area. we have a well-oiled machine, and i share with the advisory board. and we have tools there, and were able to get things moving quickly. we talked last night about our command center. and dr. sibb >> reporterbit is very involved. >> things coming in from the wires and across the base, please understand that many of our staff, this is why it hits home to us. many of our staff have spouses or family members who are posted at fort hood or are in the military. so when tragedy happens to them, we hear about it early. in the modern days of electronic texting, et cetera, we start hearing information very early
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in the course. so what we do, we rapidly assess what the situation is, determine how many patients we're going to get, and make a decision to open up what we call our command center. that sends out multiple alerts from the necessary providers and nurses and confessions and ancillary care member, and they're notified both electronically by phonecalls, and basically what they hear across the media, so if they have loved ones on base, and what happens here always, when we face a crisis, and when our community is challenged, we rise to the occasion, so everybody starts coming in. >> reporter: -- where they were when they got shot. >> they have given us mild anecdotal stories, and that may be part of the investigation and i don't want to say anything
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compromising to that. >> reporter: [ unintelligible ]. >> do you want to address that to some degree? >> we have collaborated with the chaplains. we came in last night and provided support to the family. they have family resources at fort hood for those individuals that provide support. some of them are like the family readiness group, family life center, and the communities, so this will be ongoing support for those individuals. >> reporter: the families involved or anyone in the community?
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community [ unintelligible ]. >> i think, we're here for the patients and the staff, right now, the patients are the primary focus. but we're also collaborating with others, trying to reach out. >> okay, you're watching a live press conference from scott and white memorial hospital in texas, near fort hood. there were nine patients that were either shot or injured in this shooting. the latest, three of those patients are critical, with neck, potential spine and abdominal injuries from gunshots, five are in fair condition, and they said the remainder, which would be one person, is in good condition, and they said that the families of these victims have been by their bed sides, and they're in
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good spirits. we're going to have a live report from texas on the other side of this break.
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>> you're watching special coverage of the fort hood shooting, and we have just gotten information from a hospital press conference where nine of the shooting patients are, and are being treated. three of them are in critical condition still, five in fair condition, and one in good condition, and they're described as being in good spirits, and i want to bring in brandon, who has been reporting from killeen, texas. you said that none of them have life-threatening injuries, and that has to be a great relief for the people on post there. >> you would imagine so, but still, hearts are heavy as we
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are talking now. two minutes ago, you had someone come in and drop off flowers at the sign behind me. obviously, people around this town and killeen and other areas, their hearts are heavy, and they have associations with the military. and needless to say, the recovery will take a very very long time. >> you know, it's interesting, brandon. one of the physicians who spoke is a psychiatrist who spoke of the complex emotional responses that he expects the patients to have to this shooting. he describes them as being in good spirits right now, and i wonder if those complex emotional responses are something that you're bearing witness to as well, as this is the second mass shooting at fort hood in the last five years. >> you would imagine so, and the person who brought the flowers here, she was obviously
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emotional, dealing with this. and that's just one person. people from outside of this place with military connections, their hearts are heavy right now, and everybody is hoping and praying for the best in the recovery of those people in the hospital and those folks being treated right now. >> okay, i want to bring in randall pinkston from washington d.c., and we got new information about the suspected shooter this morning. >> yes,, before the armed services committee, we had the army chief of staff as well the army secretary, john mccue. and they point out that the suspected shooter is an experienced soldier, and he spent nine years in the national guard in puerto rico and the army where he served as a truck driver. and he was treated for anxiety
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and sleep disorders that he had prescribed, he was prescribed ambien, and he was seen by a psychiatrist a month ago, but according to secretary mchugh and the general, there was no indication on the record that there was any sign of violence to himself and to others, and in addition, they have been doing a background check, and they found nothing in his background to tie him to terrorists or extremist organizations, and he had a very good record and no signs of trouble, no warning that this would have happened. >> . >> the gunman, identified by a congressman, 34-year-old ivan lopez, and the gun that he concealed, what kind of questions are you being asked about security on the country's largest army base. >> it's the same question that's being raised around the country. keep in mind, just over a year ago here in washington, a former
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navy arrivist, who was then a civilian contractor, took a weapon onto the washington navy yard where he killed 12 people. and the question was raised, how could he possibly get a weapon in and it's because he had a pass, as did this suspected shooter in fort hood. he too was military in his uniform, and he was able to use the gate entrance that is not available to civilians, and he was not supposed to have had a private firearm. the only people that are supposed to be armed on posts, to my understanding, are military police, but of course he had a weapon and may have obtained other weapons from some of his victims. >> a lot more questions than answers, but certainly a lot of developments. we're going to continue to
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follow that. brandon will stay in texas for us, and stay with aljazeera america, we'll have more on the tragic fort hood shooting and the rest of today's top stories. there's a lot more news coming up in just a moment.
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bloc >> this morning we had no indication on the record of that examination that there was any sign of -- of likely violence, either to himself or to others, no suicidal ideation. >> a day after four people are killed in a shooting at fort hood, we're learning new details about the man behind it. and the number of syrian test y testify -- refugees reaches 1 million. ♪


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